Sandpit Hash run#8: Getting sandy with it.

With the return of camping weather, we headed into the desert north of Al Khatim to find the site for Sandpit Hash run#8 on Friday October 19, which will be a joint effort to mark the Abu Dhabi Hash House Harriers’ 1800th* run. (* margin of error: +/-1)

It’s also to test the venue for the 2012 Gulf Rehydration Run. We think we’ve found a good spot: remote from others but in the midst of big dunes and yet accessible to two wheel drive cars and with a flat sabkha to camp on.

The run will start at 5pm, followed by a short circle and then an evening of carousing. The usual Sandpit rules apply: for Dh20, you get drinks at the beer stop on the run and for down-downs in the circle. Otherwise it’s bring your own food and drink. We’ll have a fire if you want to barbecue. And unlike Sandpit#7, it will probably actually be cool enough to stand near it…

From Dubai, it’s probably faster and certainly less stressful to drive on the E11/SZR until the Mafraq turnoff then follow the Al Ain Road to Al Khatim. However the shortest way is to follow the truck road (turn left off the E11/SZR, E311/Dubai Bypass Road or E611/Outer Bypass Road just at the boundary of Abu Dhabi-Dubai emirates). After crossing the Sweihan Road, you’ll find an Adnoc on the left hand side. Turn left just before the Adnoc and follow an unsealed road towards a yard filled with construction machinery. Pass this, keeping it on your right, and follow the Sandpit Hash drinking-camels signs until you cross a line of substantial dunes. The campsite is beside the road on the southern side of these dunes. If you’re technologically disposed, the site is 24° 17′ 54″ N, 54° 58′ 27″ E.

From Abu Dhabi, take the Al Ain Road to Al Khatim. Take the exit just past the Adnoc (last petrol) then cross over the motorway and head back westwards on the road to the farms. The road swings around to the right. Go straight through the roundabout and follow the road until the end of the tar seal. Turn right and then left almost immediately. Follow this road until you see the Sandpit Hash drinking-camel sign on a substantial road to the left. If you go through a fenceline at a gate, you’ve gone a couple of hundred metres too far. (If you’re in a 4×4, you can turn left here and drive to the far end of the enclosure to pick up the road again but it’s not 2wd friendly) Follow the road around until you’re going parallel to a line of dunes. The campsite is here. If you’re technologically disposed, the site is 24° 17′ 54″ N, 54° 58′ 27″ E.
This map shows the overview of the route:

And this one shows more detail of the motorway exit and the final couple of kilometres to the camp:

And finally, since we accidentally made a profit from Sandpit7, we’ll do a subsidised T-shirt to mark Sandpit10 in January. And when I say we accidentally made a profit, that included three separate currencies in the contribution bucket after the circle. There were Dirhams but also a €5 note, while someone else demonstrated their esteem for the Sandpit Hash and the obvious high-flying jetsetting traits of those in charge by contributing 89 Ethiopian Birr. This actually translates to a smidge over Dh18, so it seems churlish to complain.